quick feedback from students on instant quizzes. A quiz question gets downloaded on a student’s Aakash tablet. At the end of the test time, all answers are automatically collected and get recorded in the back-end system. Clicker also enables the teacher to generate a progress report on the comprehension levels of each student based on his answers in a range of quizzes. Clicker comes to the aid of the shy student who may have a query for his teacher but will not say so publicly. The “raise hand” feature on Clicker allows a student to raise his hand virtually and post the query.
Spoken tutorials: Educational videos in over 18 Indian languages including Bodo, Khasi, Nepali. A low-bandwidth tool, this hosts tutorials on life skills too: from directions on how to book a rail ticket the IRCTC website or how to book an air ticket airline, to how to knot a tie.
Robot control: Educational robots designed at IITB are used to teach principles of embedded software, algorithms incorporating artificial intelligence and data collection from various sensors. An application developed on Aakash allows the tablet to control the movement of the robot and see the video stream from a mounted camera, sent to it using WiFi.
IIT Bombay describes Aakash as an access device in which a Linux environment has been developed atop an Android operating system. Tailored compilers for C, C++, Python and Scilab are ported so that users can write and run programmes on the tablet, emphasising its use as a full-fledged computer. Powered by a 1GHz processor and backed with a 512 MB RAM, Aakash 2 sports a 7" capacitive screen, a USB port and micro SD card slot and promises a battery life of 3 hours for normal operations.
Jharkhand has placed a request for 4.5 lakh devices, out of an overall estimated nationwide demand of nearly 5 million. While 10,000 tablets are with teachers across 260 locations in the country, the next lot will go to educational institutes that will issue the tablets to students much like library books. The HRD ministry plans to invite tenders